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Gigging-4-Living - Supporting creative solutions to sustain artists working in the gig economy

Authors: Christine Zerafa, Christine Vella, Moritz Zavan Stoeckle,
  • Institute: Institute of Creative Arts
  • Symposium: Environmental and Cultural Sustainability
  • Day: 1 , Session: 2 , Location: Conference Hall 1
  • Session Type: Short 10 min (Early stage research) , Start: 11:45 , End: 12:00


The word “gig,” now commonly applied to any informal form of paid work (as in “gig economy”) was originally specific to musicians. Shorthand for “engagement,” a gig was a paid performance in a club or other performance venue: the working musician’s bread and butter. It wasn’t surprising, therefore, that performing artists were the first to feel the sting of the

enhanced community quarantine resulting from Covid-19 outbreaks in all Member States. Overnight, the entire gig economy, on which their fragile livelihoods depended, collapsed. While writers and painters can continue to create in solitude, the musician’s art and that of other performing artists like dancers and actors comes to life only in performance. Not being able to play live has a two-fold negative impact: it hurts the financial livelihood as well as the psychological well-being of the artist. Living with Covid-19 demands that all performing artists really have to get creative and build resilience.

GIGGING-4-LIVING will work with adult educators to build business acumen within the performing arts sector. The range of opportunities now open to performing artists to build sustainable careers in their chosen artistic discipline has been profoundly increased by the rapid growth of technology based platforms and social media channels. National and

international markets are now open to almost every individual artist on a scale that has only previously available to a very small, select few.

The project is currently developing a bespoke training curriculum that will have specific modules tailored to the needs of 3 distinct groups, namely; Musicians; Dancers; Actors. The modules will be tailored to suit the needs and address the opportunities for each of these sub-sets of the performing arts sector that still pertain despite the impact of Covid-19.

Furthermore, the project will also provide a toolkit of resources that focuses on building resilience to promote positive mental health within the performing arts sector.